WHEN YOU'RE A PET OWNER
If you’re among the 15% to 30% of people with pet allergies, you have to consider how being a pet owner cuts into sleep. Exposure to pet dander from cats and dogs can result in congestion, sneezing, coughing, chest tightness and wheezing that can keep you awake all night long. Despite these symptoms, you can follow a simple routine to help you get the night right.
DESIGNATE YOUR BEDROOM A PET-FREE ZONE
Most people spend 8 to 12 hours a day in their bedroom. By keeping your bedroom door closed while you sleep, you can eliminate much of the bothersome effects of pet dander. If your Siamese or Labradoodle has had free reign, be sure to do a thorough deep clean of your bedroom since pet dander is “sticky.” Or buy new hypoallergenic pillows and bedding with tightly woven fabric to begin fresh.
TAKE SPECIAL CARE WHEN CLEANING YOUR BEDROOM
Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter or disposable electrostatic bag to contain allergens. For cleaning surfaces use an anti-allergen spray. When it comes to eliminating the allergens on your bedding, you have options: a 140°F hot wash with one rinse, an any temperature wash with two rinses, or steam wash them.
REMOVE ITEMS FROM YOUR BEDROOM THAT COLLECT PET ALLERGENS
In the bedroom, pet dander can collect in carpets and on clutter. To decrease allergen build-up, start by removing any wall-to-wall carpet and replacing it with hardwood, tile, or rugs you can steam clean or wash with hot water in your washing machine. Replace drapes with ones you can regularly wash in hot water. Finally, minimize upholstered furniture, but if you must, choose cotton-covered furniture and steam clean it regularly.
KEEP YOUR PET AND HIS OR HER PRODUCTS CLEAN
Just like taking special care when cleaning your bedroom, take special care to clean your pet and his or her products. Buy bedding for your pet that can be washed regularly and a cage that can be cleaned quickly. If you have a cat, use clumping litter and clean the box often. Minimize pet dander build-up and flaking by giving your pet a bath at least once a week and by brushing your pet often (preferably outside).
PREPARE YOUR NOSE AND SINUSES
If nasal congestion is a problem, apply a Breathe Right nasal strip right before bed. They'll open your nasal passages so you can breathe and sleep better.
DURING ALLERGY SEASON
Nighttime Allergy sufferers, you’re not alone. 20% of Americans are affected by allergies, making it the 6th leading chronic illness in the U.S. More...